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Andrew Bynum: All growns up?

October 1, 2009 | 11:58 pm
It certainly feels like a stretch making such a claim about anybody at the ripe old age of 22 (rounding up).Nba_jabbarbynum01_412   But while Andrew Bynum clearly has plenty of maturing ahead of him, it appears that he's reached a "big boy" milestone of sorts.  The Times and the Daily News are reporting that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's work with Bynum will be scaled back this season.  Ditto Cap's involvement with the team. 

On Bynum's end, the move is being presented as little more than the natural progression of a dude whose first day at the office has long since passed.   Lakers public relations director John Black told the Times' Mike Bresnahan, "Kareem has been an instrumental part of Andrew's development and improvement over the years, but as Andrew is entering his fifth season, there's a lesser need for such intensive work together.  Therefore, Kareem's workload will be generally lessened."

Sounds simple enough, but The Daily News' Ramona Shelburne relays a fair amount of disappointment on KAJ's end, both in the decision itself ("I think there are things that have to do with basketball that he could learn but he's getting on in years.'') and in Drew's time away from the game this offseason.  Bynum, who maintains an extended break was necessary for mind and body, says the separation is nothing personal, and he'll still seek out his mentor's guidance.  But there will be some distance between the two, for sure.

I'll try to learn more about this development, but I was curious to get a reader reaction.  From a practical standpoint, there are obvious pluses with knowledge getting passed along from the league's all-time leading scorer.  And, let's be honest, the notion of an all-time Laker great theoretically passing the torch to a potential-laden pupil is pretty cool.  On many levels, purple and gold loyalists took a great sense of comfort from Bynum and KAJ working together, perhaps even envisioning them together for several years.  Granted, a foundation has been obviously established for Drew to build on.  But I wonder if this stll leaves the Laker Nation feeling nervous.

Or at the very least, getting all "Cat's in the Cradle."


Photo: Andrew Bynum working out as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watches.  Credit: AP